To Go On Account

Argh! So ye’ve decided to become a pirate writer. Perhaps you wish to write mushy like the Boatswain, or hot like the Quartermaster…or amusing like our Gunner. Or all the above like our Powder Monkey–but whatever your desire, you realize you might need a little help in your endeavors. One doesn’t go from being a landlubber to a knife-in-the-teeth, swinging-from-the-mizzenmast pirate without some learnin’ first.

All right, perhaps the Boatswain did. But she can be a bit of a show-off.

Even the Captain cracked open a few books first. Okay, she still does. You too might find some of them useful in your endeavors. But if you find them overwhelming, just set them aside and proceed. Captain Jack Sparrow understood the power of a good bluff. He took Nassau port without firing a shot, you know. (Of course, it might have helped if he’d had some shot….)

Navigational Texts

45 Master Characters

A Writer’s Guide to Fiction (Writer’s Compass)

Book in a Month

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Your Romance Published

Manuscript Makeover: Revision Techniques No Fiction Writer Can Afford to Ignore

Story Structure Architect

The Weekend Novelist

The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery

The Writer’s Guides to Heroes & Heroines

Writing the Breakout Novel

Scrolls & other easily accessed notes

3 Act Structure: an outline and explanation of the rise and fall of your story.

Relationship Journey Structure: this one is nice and has examples featuring romantic comedies, where turning points, catalysts, etc, wouldn’t be as obvious as say the turning point in Braveheart or Die Hard.

The W Structure: Popular with movie writers and the like. Instead of just one hurdle to recover from, this one drags out the tension throughout your book by having smaller but also important rises and falls through. Your hero might be denied his first goal, he gets a new goal or does something new, wins a little, then loses something else. Very nail-biting.

Yet Another 3-Act Structure: Hey, these are all good. You should look through them all and decide which one fits the story you’re writing now, or makes sense to you.

Maps & Other Treasure Maps (Research, Research, Research)

Clearly since we’re pirates, we’re too busy drinking rum to research. But these fine and excellent authors have brilliant research resources.

Kimberly Killion: Pirates, Scotland, clothing, food…plus publishers, authors, and well, just about everything you ever wanted to know about anything. Plunder her site–and don’t forget to tell her we sent you. We’re sure she’ll love that.

Candice Hern: Everything you ever needed to know about the Regency. Clothes, drink, who you can talk to and who you can’t. Brilliantly researched…much like her books, incidentally. Go read up!

The Passionate Pen: seriously comprehensive!

FINAL NOTE: All the books, articles, and websites aren’t going to write your book for you. Stick with the tried and true: BICHOK (Butt-in-Chair, Hands-on-Keyboard) and push through your crappy draft. As Captain Nora says repeatedly, “I can fix anything except a blank page.” So just write already. You’re a pirate. Go with simple and easy to remember.